Published: Saturday, November 17, 2007
Opening rout: Penguins' Byron Davis scores 19 to top Lock Haven, 95-55
By RYAN JONES
YOUNGSTOWN Unselfish offense proved to be the key ingredient in Youngstown State's 95-55 rout of Division II Lock Haven in a men's basketball home opener on Friday night at Beeghly Center.
Youngstown State had 22 assists, 14 in the first half, as it improved to 2-1 for the first time under coach Jerry Slocum.
"I thought we shared the ball well, which was a positive thing for me to see," Slocum said. "A few times in the first half we had five guys touch the ball before we scored. That's what we are striving for offensively because to that's how we have to play to win games in our league."
Senior Byron Davis said coach Slocum stressed the importance of the team's opening game.
"We wanted to come out and play hard and get the fans involved," Davis said.
Youngstown State jumped to a 15-4 advantage in the first five minutes of play and rode its hot shooting and stingy defense to a 60-16 lead at the half.
The Penguins hit on 5-of-8 3-point goals, and shot 60 percent from the floor in the half.
The 6-foot-2 Davis, who led all scorers with 19 on 7-of-10 shooting said the team has confidence in their shots when open.
"Our coaches have told us that if we've open to step up and take the shots," Davis said. "And that's what we did."
The outside shooting prowess didn't come as a surprise to Slocum either, (YSU has made about 45 percent from downtown in its first two games) but he said one of the team's goals is to get more inside touches this season.
"We executed and made shots in the first half, but we want to play inside out," he said. "Jack, [Liles] John, [Barber] and Dwight [Holmes] we feel are more than capable low post players. When we get it inside it allows our perimeter guys to be more open."
Even with the fast start, Slocum said he was less than satisfied with the second half as the Penguins were outscored 39-35 by the Bald Eagles.
"I was disappointed with out defensive effort," he said. "There were too many direct lanes to the basket. It seemed that we lost our intensity and then we missed shots on offense, but that sometimes happens when you play a game like this and get up big early."
Dan Boudler had a double-double for the Penguins with 10 points and 15 rebounds. John Barber added 13 points and five rebounds and Vance Cooksey dished out six assists for the winners who shot 52 percent (39-75) for the game.
Billy Arre paced Lock Haven with 15 points and six rebounds.
YSU will travel to South Bend to square off against Notre Dame next Saturday.